“Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”
Just say no! Okay, maybe it’s not quite that easy. But you have to admit that the attitude you take into a situation helps shape the outcome. If we can read this list that Paul gives us and determine that with God’s strength we are going to say “No” before we get into a challenging situation, it will help. Paul uses phrases like “Have nothing to do with” and “get rid of.” This indicates that God expects us to take some initiative. What I like the best about today’s passage is the phrase, “Be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.” So do we get victory over these sins because we focus on them and fight diligently to overcome or because we focus on God and try to be more like Him? Sure, it is some of each, but I really believe that a positive focus will always win over the negative. Try what Paul suggests: focus on God, get to know Him, let Him mold you more into His likeness and He will help you take care of any negative behavior. It’s like the old saying, “Love God and do as you please.”
Lord, You know I want to live a life that pleases You. I don’t want to be sexually immoral, evil or greedy. I don’t want to be angry or full of slander or dirty language. I don’t want to lie. Help me today to focus on You. Help me to know You, to love You, to commune with You and I will trust You with all the other behaviors. Help me be more like You. In Jesus’ name.
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